Ever since hooking into a hybrid striped bass on Lake Decker this spring I have been patiently researching and studying the Striped Bass and the lakes that are fortunate enough to be stocked with these amazing game fish in the Central Texas area. Luckily, there is a Striped Bass paradise not all too far from me; Lake Buchanan.
Lake Buchanan is a very large lake located just west of Burnett in the Texas Hill Country. Stocking of Striped Bass in Lake Buchanan are extremely successful and with the help of TPWD and private organizations, the Striped Bass population has survived the droughts and recent flooding. I initially knew nothing about how to target Striped Bass. I began searching YouTube and the Internet to figure out some tactics. Oddly enough, Barry Stokes, host of Fox Sports Outdoors Southwest has done a show on Lake Buchanan and had some really great tips on how to target Buchanan's stripers.
Not having any of the requisite tackle, I started to search my local shops. Not many stores carry striper specific lures where I live, but, luckily there is some crossover with traditional black bass tackle that will work. I decided to go with 5" and 4" flutter spoons, a heavy jig with a soft plastic swim bait trailer, a bucktail jig and a traditional deep diving crankbait in natural shad colors.
By far the most successful method I learned is referred to as the smoke method. You cast the flutter spoon out, let it sink to the bottom and begin a steady retrieve of about 6-10 cranks. Disengage the clutch, let the spoon fall back to the bottom and repeat until you are no longer retrieving the spoon horizontally.
The striped bass is an amazing fighter regardless of the size. This species is a true challenge to any angler. I logged 50 plus miles on my three outings to Lake Buchanan and on my last trip I finally caught one. My best piece of advice is to do your research on a contour map. Pick several humps throughout the lake and either confirm or deny activity on your fish finder or by feeding on the surface. If it doesn't have activity, move to another spot. Resist the urge to fish an area just because it looks good on the map. Don't pickup a rod until you are in the right spot.